A Barbarian In New York: Berserker Unbound #2 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The Mongrel King is in a strange new world: the woods just outside New York City. An older homeless man found him first, and the Mongrel King lets the old man patch him up and stays with him for the night. The Mongrel King doesn’t understand the old man’s language, and the old man doesn’t understand what the King is saying. Upon morning, the Mongrel King goes back to the cave that led him to this strange place, and he studies the runes on the wall. He doesn’t know how to get back home, so he follows the old man into the city for food and alcohol.

Berserker Unbound #2 cover by Mike Deodato Jr. and Frank Martin
Berserker Unbound #2 cover by Mike Deodato Jr. and Frank Martin

Berserker Unbound #2 offers a far slower and more calm issue than the opening offering. We watch the Mongrel King make friends with an older man from a completely different world who speaks a language the King doesn’t understand.

It makes for a strangely charming comic. This barbarian warlord makes friends with a homeless gentleman despite speaking a completely different language, but they understand enough to take care of one another over the course of the book.

We don’t learn how the Mongrel King wound up outside New York, and we haven’t a clue how he’s going to make it back yet. For now, he’s just trying to survive.

Berserker Unbound #2 art by Mike Deodato Jr., Frank Martin, and letterer Steve Wands
Berserker Unbound #2 art by Mike Deodato Jr., Frank Martin, and letterer Steve Wands

Mike Deodato Jr. makes another great showing this issue, imbuing both the Mongrel King and the old homeless man (named Joe Cobb, by the way) with plenty of visual personality and expression. Naturally, the Mongrel King towers over everyone with his massive muscles, which is a common trait and many Deodato comics. It looks damn good, and color artist Frank Martin backs it up with an interesting and vibrant palette.

Berserker Unbound #2 differentiates itself from its contemporaries with its strangely endearing story of a barbarian warlord and a homeless New Yorker making due on the outer reaches of civilized society. It’s a fun read for sure, and the comic easily earns a recommendation with this issue. Feel free to give it a read.

Berserker Unbound #2 comes to us from writer Jeff Lemire, artist Mike Deodato Jr., color artist Frank Martin, letterer Steve Wands, cover artist Mike Deodato Jr. with Frank Martin, and variant cover artist Andrea Sorrentino.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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